30 November 2018 by Laura Habgood
Les Hirondelles, Charente, Poitou Charentes
This month’s featured property is Les Hirondelles, a large and beautifully renovated barn standing on a hillside with far reaching views over the countryside from every room. The property offers 5 spacious bedrooms, 2 of which are en suite and has all the modern facilities you could need for your stay, but still retains character features of huge oak beams and fabulous Charentais stone walls.
Al fresco dining come rain or shine
A light and airy entrance hall leads to the large open plan kitchen, with large farmhouse table to seat 12. There is an oak beamed ceiling and double doors leading to the huge open sided covered hanger which doubles as a patio area, meaning you can sit out in the fresh air come rain or shine enjoying al fresco dining or perhaps just enjoying the stunning views over the sunflower fields, woodlands and hills beyond.
There is a downstairs en suite twin bedroom which is perfect for anyone with mobility issues and upstairs there are 4 spacious bedrooms including a master double bedroom and a children’s room complete with bunk beds.
Outside there are a large garden and a fabulous private 10m x 5m swimming pool which is alarmed for safety. The pool is surrounded by decking and has plenty of space for sun loungers to soak up the famous Charentais sun. The garden leads to the countryside beyond, and there are some lovely walks available from the front door!
Perfect for exploring
There’s so much to see and do nearby, the stunning town of Aubeterre sur Dronne is only 15 minutes from the property and has been voted one of the most beautiful villages in France since 1993 with its unusual Romanesque monolithic church carved into the hillside.
A great way to spend a day is to take part in a tasting at one of the great houses of Cognac, about an hour’s drive from the property, and learn about the history and production of this famous amber nectar. A few of the most well-known producers here are Hennessy, Martell and Rémy Martin.
The beautiful town of Brantome is also just under an hour away where you can wander the cobble streets, take a canoe around the island town or simply sit in the park with its huge trees and stunning plant life. If you fancy staying closer to home there are many wonderful local markets, where you can purchase local specialties and find treasures to take home with you as a reminder of your trip.
A more relaxed pace of life for the Owners
The property is owned by Lesley and Toby Dorman-Groves who moved to France in 2004 in search of a more relaxed pace of life and an occupation that would give them time to travel. They renovated a farmhouse and converted 2 barns, built a cattery and then after a lot of hard work built their very successful gite complex.
They love animals and have 5 cats, all of which they acquired whilst in France and running their cattery business.